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Student Ornithologists Build Habitat at Sleepy Hollow Middle School

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Budding ornithologists at Sleepy Hollow Middle School now have an opportunity to hone their bird-watching techniques.

The Sleepy Hollow Middle School Environmental Action Club recently finished installing a bird observation post and bird feeders behind the middle school in the unused vernal pool space down from the recess area.

The space had attracted some birds, and birdhouses had already been built. Club advisor and seventh grade science teacher Mike Garguilo said they hoped that the added feeders would attract even more birds to the area.

The observation post and bird feeders were possible because of a $500 grant, Garguilo said. Garguilo also noted that the club was working with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Feederwatch project to help identify and gather data about birds in the area.

As the local area has been developed, “There's a lot of species of birds that have left this area,” Garguilo said, adding that the club hopes more birds will return to the habitat now that it has both houses and feeders.

Garguilo said the observation post will be a way for students to take advantage of the new bird habitat without disturbing or frightening the birds.

The vernal pool space was chosen for its proximity to both the recess area and the Old Croton Aqueduct, which means students and everyone else from the community will be able to enjoy the bird habitat, Garguilo said.

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